Besiktas fans throw toys on to pitch for children affected by Turkey earthquake

The Turkish Super League match is paused after four minutes and 17 seconds, marking the time the first earthquake struck

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Besiktas fans threw stuffed toys, which will be given to children affected by the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, on to the pitch during their game against Antalyaspor.

The Turkish Super League match was stopped after four minutes 17 seconds, to mark the time the first earthquake struck at 04:17, and toys rained down from the stands.

More than 50,000 people have died as a result of the disaster on February 6, when a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck parts of southern Turkey and northern Syria. Former Newcastle midfielder Christian Atsu was later confirmed as one of the victims.

The game went on to finish goalless as Besiktas moved up to third in the table.

Besiktas said: “Our fans organised a meaningful event called ‘this toy is my friend’ during our A team’s football match with Antalyaspor at Vodafone Park in order to give morale to the children affected by the earthquake that stifled our country.

“Our fans, to give morale to the children in the earthquake zone, in the 17th second of the fourth minute of the match threw scarves, hats and cuddly toys on the Vodafone Park pitch.

“We would like to thank our fans for their meaningful event.”

Besiktas players warmed up in tops with the names of the country's affected southern cities before a pre-match ceremony was held and fans applauded the search and rescue officers present at Vodafone Stadium.

Defender Tayyib Sanuc said: “There are more important things than football. We are going through difficult times as a country. Together we will heal the wounds.

“Our fans held a meaningful event – I was very touched. I hope we never experience such a disaster again.”

Updated: February 27, 2023, 1:33 PM